The Smithfield Church

Pastor's Message

Confession of Faith [written by the pastor]

We believe that there is but one God, in His own nature a unity, but known to us as a Trinity, because we are unable to look at the face of God and not die. We have seen God in the creation and sustaining of the universe, and we see Him more clearly with every advance of science and astronomy. We call Him Who created us our Father.

In one unique moment of human history, we saw another face or person of God. This was in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. From him we learn what it would be like to be both God and man, and we have agreed to make that life and that death a pattern for our own living and dying.

Every hour of every day we experience a God who is a spirit living and working among us, offering us freedom and choice and responsibility and compassion and the opportunity to forbear one another in love.

We believe that we were not born to die, but rather to live as inheritors of the kingdom of God, and that this life is but a foretaste of the glories that shall be revealed to us. Because we believe that we will share an eternal life with all who have striven to know God, we are able to love one another, forgive each others’ faults and infirmities, and gladly accept to be forgiven by others. When we gather together to worship God and forgive and be forgiven in a spirit of forbearance, we are, indeed, the church of Christ - his very body in our very world.

The purpose of human life is to know God and enjoy Him forever.

 

The pastor has asked that the following poem written by Smithfield's Poet Laureate for the Easter Sunday service at The Smithfield Church be included on this page for all to enjoy:

Transformation amid Mud

Walking in a bleak and barren landscape

with snow underfoot and sleet in gray air,

meditating on drear mortality:

your example of humiliation,

scourging, even public crucifixion

to guide us during our ashen penance,

we seek to find greater understanding

on the pathetic plight of humankind.

 

Lord, Easter us when fragrant lilies bloom,

that we tread on the fragile blooming earth

with a sense of rebirth and renewal

to live with greater love for our neighbors--

see them as lilies not dandelions

on the sward of God’s greatest gift to us!

 

                                  --Kevin T. McEneaney

 

A LITANY FOR 9/11/11

Leader:  O God, we come before You on this Sabbath Day, entreating You to be present for our worship while knowing that, bidden or not, You are closer to us than our own breathing.  We would worship You on this Sabbath Day in spirit and in truth.

People: Be with us in our worship on this Sabbath Day.

For us this day marks the anniversary of tragic events.  Ten years ago the symbols of our economic and military power were attacked by an evil act perpetrated in Your name by persons who claimed to know You and love You.  The loss of human life was devastating to us, and the loss of human treasure was beyond calculation.  Our desolation was very great. 

Save us and help us, O God.

Although for us ten years is a major portion of our lives, we acknowledge that a thousand ages in Your sight are less than an evening gone.  Still, we trust You understand that the brevity of our lives makes an anniversary such as this one utterly heartbreaking.  Our wounds are deep and have not yet healed.  Our grief is profound and has not subsided.  Our helplessness in the face of evil continues to overwhelm us.  Our response has been as inadequate as it has been foolish.

Save us and help us, O God.

We remember before You the 2,753 persons whose names we know who died at the World Trade Center ten years ago today.  We remember before You the homeless and the undocumented who died without leaving a trace or record, who are known only to You.  We remember before You those who were burned and maimed and psychologically impaired by this tragedy.

Save them and help them, O God.

We remember before you the thousands of men and women who continue to mourn the loss of loved onesundefinedthose who had to make the horrible decision to perish in flames or jump to certain death.  We remember the

panic of those in planes as they discovered their means of transport had become instruments of terror.

Save them and help them, O God.

We remember before You those who died when Flight 77 struck the Pentagon and those who died in Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania;

save them and help them, O God.

We remember before You those who perpetrated this tragedyundefinedthose who planned it, financed it, and died executing it.  In obedience to Your son’s command that we pray for our enemies,

we call upon Your compassion for all, O God.

That we might learn never to do evil in Your name,

we ask Your help, O Lord.

That we might properly honor and give support to those who risked their lives to respond to this tragedy,

we ask Your help, O Lord.

That we might learn to put all of our trust in You and to lean at all times on Your powerful and everlasting arms; that we might face the future unafraid because we trust in You; that we might not fear chaos or death, because in all things You are our savior and redemptor;  that we might not learn to hate those who call You by a different name or have found a different path by which to seek You:

hear our prayer, O Lord.

That we might learn from pathos and tragedy how to be stronger men and women;  that we might learn to put our hopes and confidence in heavenly things so that where our treasure is there may our hearts be also;

give us strength, O God, to do Your will in all things.  This we pray in the name of Jesus.   AMEN.

 


Freely you have received, freely give.  Matthew 10: 8

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